Appreciation💋

Processed with MOLDIVI love epiphanies! It’s almost like being high for a while. You have a great moment of realization, and suddenly everything makes sense and falls into place. Sometimes only briefly, but long enough to make an impact permanently.

I was thinking about my son and granddaughter the other day, and when I was married and all the excitement and chaos of having a family. My heart started to ache when I thought about those things because I missed everybody so much, and all the moments ran through my mind like a favorite old movie.  I felt sad thinking about everything. Then suddenly it dawned on me that those were moments in my life that made me the happiest. Those moments made me the person that I am today. So even though I may not have those people in my life, or even have that kind of life anymore, it doesn’t mean I have to look back on that with the sense of loss. I need to hold onto those happy feelings. I need to appreciate those moments. For example, even though my marriage ended in divorce, I got to experience the joy of getting married. I got to experience marriage with all its ups and downs. Those moments made me who I am. And even though I no longer have my son and granddaughter in my life, all those moments spent with them were precious. I got to experience the miracle of being a grandmother. I got to experience this sheer pleasure of hearing her little voice say grandma. Those moments brought happiness in my life, and defined me. I got to experience that unconditional love of being a mother. Those were happy moments that nobody can take away from me. And I need to appreciate those moments because that is what brought happiness to my heart. And even though my heart may be broken, it is on the mend because of all these precious moments that I appreciate now.  Because in those moments, I have an eternity of love in my heart. And I let those moments turn into heartache.

I’m still piecing this together as I speak so forgive me if I tend to go off base.  But it’s almost like enjoying your favorite meal, and the pleasure and satisfaction you feel afterwards. You don’t look back on it sadly because it’s over with, you just remember how good it was. So I’m just going to remember how good everything was, and enjoy the pleasure of those moments.

The monster is losing

 

Holding Onto The Rope 〰️

 

A0DC11EB-47C1-4883-ACDB-7DDFF70AF4A6My therapist asked me one time why I felt like giving up. I had really been struggling with thoughts of suicide. I was consumed with depression. I could barely drag myself to therapy, but it was mandatory. I had accidentally taken an overdose of Tramadol. I was trying to escape reality by staying asleep and Tramadol did the trick. But I took too much and my sister found me incoherent lying in bed. She called my doctor, which resulted in me being placed in a mental health unit on a 96 hour hold. A condition of being released was for me to attend mandatory therapy. If I didn’t comply, I would face being placed back in a unit to continue therapy. Needless to say, I complied.

So as I sat across from my therapist trying to figure out a way to explain the terrible depth of hopelessness I was feeling, an image of depression formed in my mind. I told her I felt like I was holding onto a long rope surrounded by oppressive darkness. Far above me was my life, also shrouded in darkness. Below me was death. I had been holding onto that rope for so long now, unable to see any glimmer of light above me, yet I desperately held onto the rope anyway. I was exhausted. I was in pain. The fight to hold on was unrelenting. The darkness above me unwelcoming, unwanted. So why was I holding on then? Holding on for what? Why was I clinging to a life of darkness? It would be so easy to just let go, to slip into the darkness below. I would be free of the pain of holding on forever.

I’m still here. I made it up the rope with a lot of help. There are still days I feel like I’m back on the rope, but not for long. There is light in my life now, not a lot at times, but just enough to guide me back up. ❤️

Find Something You Love To Do ❤️

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One of the main symptoms of depression is losing interest in things that once brought you joy. I don’t know why that is. I loved working on art, but just the thought of doing that depressed me even more. It would require me to try to think about something else, which was nearly impossible. When depression has such a grip on your mind, focusing on something else is like trying to swim in mud. It is exhausting. It is painful. Depression is painful enough already. It’s like quicksand, the more you try to get away to focus on something else, it pulls you back even more. You are reminded of what you’re struggling against, divorce, loss of a loved one, job loss, disease, or a host of other painful things. It rushes back at you and begins to consume you. Less painful to just stop trying. Safer to stop trying.

Someone told me to try baby steps. So I gathered a few art items one day. A few days later I actually worked on a project. Only for fifteen minutes or so, but it was a start. If you start getting overwhelmed, just leave things where they are, and stop. Do something else or nothing at all. It will be there when you’re up to it.

I hope this helps a little at least! 😍

 

 

The Monster Arrives 🧟‍♂️

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A lot of times depression has taken root in someone at a very early age. But they’re too young to understand depression, or too young to even know what it is. Oftentimes adults don’t even recognize that in children. They just think they’re moody or withdrawn or just a quiet child. I was all three.

My step father preyed on me. It pleased him to constantly degrade me.

My 11th birthday was a defining moment in my life. My stepfather was a long distance truck driver. When he was gone the house was full of life. But when he came back from being on the road, it was like a mortuary. Cold and unfeeling. I had spent the night before my birthday at a friend’s house. My mother had reminded me to be home early the next morning because my stepfather would be home. As I neared the house, I could see his truck parked on the street. A feeling of dread came over me. I quietly opened the screen door, and saw him sleeping on the couch.  He had taken his shirt off, and his large belly was hanging over the edge, his boots where kicked off to the side. I quietly sneaked past him, and went into the kitchen where I heard my mother doing dishes. I was asking her if I could open my presents, knowing I would have to wait until later but I was giving her a hard time, just having a moment of happiness with my mother. We were laughing when suddenly my stepfather yelled for me to come to him. It was like a brutal storm had suddenly appeared on a nice day. My heart sank. He was sitting up now and lighting a cigarette, his eyes were full of contempt as I neared him.

”Do you think you’re special just because it’s your birthday?” he said through gritted teeth. Somehow in this small world of mine, I thought I had value, but he permanently destroyed that with one swift blow.

”You’re nothing,” he spat at me, smoke drifting between us like a veil of hate.

Tears began flowing down my face. I felt pain in my head as so many emotions swirled about me, a sudden pressure that I would often feel throughout my life. I stood before him like a calf at slaughter.

He leaned back against the couch, satisfied with his kill.

”Go get a bucket of hot water and wash my motorcycle” he demanded. “And while you’re cleaning it, I want you to remind yourself how unimportant you are. You’re nothing” he growled “do you hear me?” I nodded my head and ran to get a bucket.

As I was washing his motorcycle, I remember feeling so guilty for being excited about my birthday, guilty for thinking I was loved or deserved love. At one moment, I caught a glimpse of my face in the side mirror. My eyes were red from crying. I hated myself in that moment. I was ashamed of myself. I looked at myself with all the contempt my stepfather had shown me. This would be a common practice for the rest of my life.

Sadness settled in, and made a home in my heart. My struggle with my self esteem began that day.

I wanted to share this story so people might understand how depression can grow like cancer. It has a beginning, it has taken root, even though it hasn’t turned deadly yet. The monster was hungry now, and he would have plenty to feast on.

 

Hope 🦋

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Hope. There was a time I could not see any hope. Sometimes even now I have a tendency to feel hopeless. Depression is like a disease, and the toll it takes on you leaves permanent damage. So I can still feel the aches and pains. But I try to ignore it, not give into it.

So now I feel hope. You have to have hope. It is essential to getting better. But when you’re depressed, hope is something so far removed from your life, that it seems like an impossibility. Something you don’t know how to get, but so desperately want and need.

I just finished Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, TMS. It’s relatively new in my area. You can Google it to find out about it and see if it’s offered where you live. My insurance actually covered it. I did find it quite painful, but no pain, no gain, right? A lot of people don’t experience much discomfort but I guess I have a low tolerance threshold for pain. I can’t say I am depression free, and I can’t say that I still don’t have bad days, but I’m not lying in a dark closet curled up under a blanket wishing I were dead.  I don’t know how long the effects of TMS will last, I was told that I may have to have maintenance to make sure I don’t slip back into such a bad depression, but time will tell. It’s kind of scary, like being in remission, fearfully wondering if it will come back again and destroy me. And now that my head is a little clear, and I feel like I just might have a future without depression, it helps me to focus on other things. Like this blog. I want to help people because I know how it feels. It’s like seeing somebody on the side of the road that’s been in a bad wreck. I’ve been in a bad wreck too emotionally and there’s no way I can let other people struggle through that without trying to offer some sort of help.

Other things that help me when I’m really struggling with depression is praying. I’ll tell you about that in a later blog and an experience I had that I like to call my miracle.  Affirmations have helped a lot and mindfulness meditation. You can find all sorts of videos on YouTube. I will be talking more in depth about that in future blogs. I haven’t tried electorate conducive therapy, because I’ve heard so many negative things about it that I was a little leery.

For those of you in that dark scary place, my heart aches for you. If I could crawl in that dark closet with you and comfort you I would. Hopefully you’ll find some source of comfort in this blog. I will be posting more about coping strategies soon. 😍

Goodnight 🌚

Processed with MOLDIVI had a great day with my daughter. She moved back home temporarily in the wake of a bad breakup. The house feels more like a home again. The two spare bedrooms are now over flowing with piles of clothes and funky decor. She is a wild child. Creative, witty, determined, kind, and compassionate. I love her more than life! She is my heart.

I’m getting sleepy now. The house is quiet except for the soothing sound of the overhead fan. Thoughts start to pop into my head, unwelcoming yet unrelenting. I see my son’s face as I drift off to sleep, his shy smile so sweet and endearing. My heart skips a beat. My chest begins to pound. He is smiling at me. I squeeze my eyes tight against the tears, but they flow like a sudden burst of torrential rain. My head reels in pain as I push the image away, wanting to hold onto it, yet knowing I can’t. My heart aches. The monster loves nights like this. I quietly get up and peak in on my daughter. She is sprawled across the bed, her face full of innocence and peace. Once again, my heart aches. But this time it aches for her, for her happiness. As I watch her sleep, a peace comes over me. She is my heart, I know this. ❤ Tonight I win, the monster loses

Winding Down 🌓

Processed with MOLDIVIt’s been a pretty good day. Not a “normal” day like I used to have before the monster arrived, but normal compared to the numbing madness of prior days. I ran errands, cleaned the house, and actually cooked. I had to fight the urge to just crawl back into bed and throw myself under the covers. Depression tapping away at me, reminding me it’s still there. But I ignored it like an invisible enemy, carrying on a playful conversation with my daughter as we ate. We sat perched at the kitchen island, scooping up spoonfuls of taco soup. We talked about our days. She is painfully aware of my struggle with depression, having had to deal with debilitating years of outbursts and suicide attempts. Yet here we sit, mother and daughter, bound so strongly together, yet the deadly threat of depression always threatening our relationship. I feel better anyway. It’s been a good day.

Dazed Days 🎭

Processed with MOLDIVSome days are so hard to get through. I have cried in Walmart so many times they probably call me “the crying lady”.  I can’t seem to help myself. The weight of sadness is so heavy it just spills out. I can’t concentrate on days like that. Conversation is impossible. It seems to float around me. I try to grasp bits and pieces, just enough to appear like I’m listening, but all I’m really hearing is the monster digging into my thoughts, ravenously burrowing through my head reminding me I need to die, that I have nothing to live for anymore. He quickly devoures any feeble attempt I make to fight back. “I’m strong”, I silently try to scream, but before I can form the thought, he shreds it to pieces. He screams DIE! DIE! There is a bloody, violent battle waging in my head. I grit my teeth and try not to cry. “Please don’t cry”, I beg myself. I look around helplessly. I’m dying, can’t anybody see that? I’m dying. I want to scream for help, but I know it is pointless. I start to cry.

“What’s wrong?” they ask…again, too many times having seen me do this. I can hear the exasperation in their voice’s. I just cry harder knowing they’re tired of me. I’m tired of me too. I hate me. I want to give into the monster. So worn out from this battle. I can’t answer them. There is no way to explain to them what is happening. So I cry for my lost life, for my lost sanity. No where to hide, no where to find peace. Too many tragic thoughts on such a fine day they seem to say, looking at me again. No mercy. No mercy from the monster, no mercy from anyone anymore. The monster wins today.

 

 

Sleeping With The Enemy ☠️

U488530F0-EB72-42BF-8A33-7B1B289BF77FLately my nights have been better. I have been listening to subliminal affirmations against the backdrop of rain. Very soothing. Seems to pacify the beast. You can go to Youtube and click the search button, search for “subliminal affirmations”, you will get many to choose from. I listen to the ones that last 6 to 10 hours. I do seem to wake up in better spirits. I have been doing this for about a month.

I remember how terrifying nights can be. I would lie on the couch literally afraid I would die. So scared. The monster just eating me alive. Thoughts running through my head too fast to focus on, faces of loved ones, images of painful reminders of all I had lost, rushing through my mind like a movie stuck on fast forward. But it never stops. It won’t stop. They pass before me, their mouths twisted as if calling out to me. The monster is telling me everyone is gone now, he reminds me I am nothing. Sleep comes in ravaged moments of exhaustion. I finally take more sleeping pills, not wanting to die, but not caring if I do. If that’s what it takes to make the monster stop, then God help me, that’s what I’ll do. Sometimes the monster wins.